A YORK solicitors’ firm has expanded with a number of new partners and trainees joining the fold.

Jacky East and Lee-Anne Robins-Hicks have joined Sally Howard as partners at criminal law specialists Howard & Byrne, which now has six partners.

Two more women are set to bring the firm’s list of solicitors to ten as they qualify through its training programme. Meghan Waldron became a trained solicitor on January 31 and Sheila Ramshaw will qualify in April.

Senior partner Mrs Howard said: “We are delighted to welcome Jacky and Lee-Anne as partners. This is a reflection of their hard work and dedication within the firm.”

Mrs East heads the firm’s prison law department, which has won acclaim nationally and is the only one in North Yorkshire and Humberside authorised by the Legal Services Commission for such work.

Mrs Howard said: “Our investment in people and their expertise, combined with our investment in technology such as a dedicated video-link system, which allows conferences with prisoners to be carried out with the lawyer still in the office, are why we are one of the market leaders, and this is a tribute to Jacky’s efforts.”

Mrs Robins-Hicks worked on the Elvington cannabis farm murder case and Mrs Howard said her academic background and attention to detail brought “real depth to the partnership”.

Mrs Howard said she was delighted by the success of the two trainees.

She said: “We also have a commitment to training. Both will continue to work for us as solicitors and we are delighted that we are able to continue to grow.”

The firm has taken on two new trainees.

Miss Waldron said her traineeship with the firm had been a “challenging but rewarding process” and she was looking forward to appearing in court.